The Liberty’s magical season will be on the line for the second time in three days when they take on the Washington Mystics tonight at the Garden in the final game of their opening round playoff matchup. After a heartbreaking double overtime loss in Game 1, the top-seeded Liberty were able to rebound and beat Washington on the Mystics home floor in Game 2 to even the series at 1-1.
Here are three keys to keep an eye on as the Liberty try to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Liberty are going to need contributions from nearly their entire roster if they want to move past the Mystics and into the next round. In the double overtime loss on Friday, New York was led by 26 points from Epiphanny Prince and 22 points from Tina Charles, while just two other players scored in double digits. Meanwhile, the Mystics had six players with seven or more points, including three players contributing 13 points each.
The Liberty exhibited a more well-rounded attack in their 86-68 blowout victory on Sunday. Four players scored in double figures, including 15 points from Sugar Rodgers off the bench in just 18 minutes.
Take care of the rockThe team with the fewest turnovers has come away with victories so far this series. After turning the ball over 14 times in their Game 1 loss, the Liberty tightened up their play and only committed six turnovers in their win in Washington. The Mystics had only eight turnovers in their double overtime victory on Friday, but came right back to turn the ball over 14 times in Game 2.
In the regular season, the Liberty surprisingly were near the bottom of the league when it came to turnovers per game, coughing it up 14.6 times per contest, while the Mystics were in the middle of the pack at 13.2 turnovers per game.
Defend the outside
The Liberty will look to contain the sharpshooting Mystics, who finished third in the league averaging six 3s per game in the regular season. The Mystics doubled their season mark by connecting on 12 3s in their Game 1 victory but were held to just five on 35.7% shooting in Game 2.